Yesterday, I posted information about involving all God's people in mission. If you don't mind, I would encourage you to read it as I will be writing more on the subject in the coming days. Yesterday was part one of my series and I will be posting more soon. I dropped in a video interview with the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London and focused on how the church has moved from a preaching point to more of a ministry center in increasingly secularized London.
The church has experienced many changes over the years. I preached through a text on Sunday (they value expository preaching). The worship service was a standard contemporary service to me (though the huge pipe organ was a great addition to the keyboard and drums). The church is now a charismatic Calvinist church, which surprises many who have not followed the changes there.
But, the thing that interested me the most was about the need for a shift in ministry approach over the years. Here again is the video where I interviewed Greg and Ruth Haslam in London.
Blogger, "almost an M," unpacks a bit of his observations at his blog:
Westminster Chapel was planted in the early 1840's. Some 25 years later, the church moved to its current location which had a large amount of poor people in the area. Some years after the church's relocation, the word "slum" was introduced to the English language. This word was used for this area of London at that time. It had been for this very reason that the church had moved into this area according to the pastor's wife, Ruth Haslam. Since that time the community has gone through a gentrification process.
There is a history of great preachers that led the church throughout its many years. These men include: Rev. Samuel Martin; Dr. G. Campbell Morgan; Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones; and Dr. RT Kendall. In our modern day it is more difficult to encourage and observe obedience with only a preaching point as the means for discipleship. Though not captured on the above video, Pastor Greg shared that the transition he is leading to establish community groups is necessary as church participants need to be participatory in becoming more obedient to the Savior and His mission.
There is a lot to discuss when you talk about church transitions, but I am interested in the change in approach to the function of the church. I think this interview speaks to many large church conversations. If you say, "it's all about the weekend," can you really lead God's people into His mission?
Another video you may find helpful is the discussion that Bill and Imbi Medri-Kinnon filmed where David Fitch and I discuss, "Can Mega Be Missional?"
What do you think?